Back At Base: Stories On Veterans ChoiceAs part of a series chronicling the lives of America's troops at home, NPR — together with member stations from around the country — is examining a troubled VA health care program.
Psychologist Diane Adams devotes a portion of her private practice in Renton, Wash., to veterans. But she said the bureaucracy involved in the Veterans Choice program has proved frustrating and veterans have had a hard time getting approval to see her.
Navy veteran Amanda Wirtz looks through her correspondence with the Veterans Choice program. After the VA couldn't get her an appointment with a specialist, it sent her to the Choice program. But she still was unable to get an appointment for several months.
Courtesy of KPBS
"Some days I wake up and go, 'Am I wasting time, when I could be on chemotherapy or getting a surgery?' " asks Tony Lapinski, a Montana veteran who worries about what is causing his severe back pain.
Michael Albans for NPR
Steve and Janet Singleton, both Navy veterans, have lived in Clarksville, Tenn., for about a year. Steve couldn't get into the local VA clinic last spring, so now they have to drive to the Nashville clinic or pay out of pocket for medical care.
Emily Siner/Nashville Public Radio